Surviving and Thriving in Quarantine: 3 Ways Businesses Can Turn Time into Opportunity
With 3,446,562 cases worldwide, Coronavirus is continuing to spread rapidly across the world. Businesses have shuttered down, and life seems stuck somewhere between quarantines and lockdowns. Undoubtedly, this malignant virus also came with a huge economic impact.
To deal with the unprecedented virus, we have the following options:
- Sit back in terror and see what is left behind after the situation gets normalized
- Amend business strategies and try to thrive instead of just survive in this perplexing time
Obviously, we cannot just wait for the pandemic to be over, Businesses must adapt to this changing situation to not only survive but thrive.
Here is how you can do it:
1. Discovering Innovative Ideas for Product Delivery & Relationship Building
Businesses have explored creative ways of operating, even in lockdowns. Digitization has opened a new door of opportunity for businesses worldwide. Even when the world is facing strict lockdowns, some businesses are doing great. They are making it possible through digital means. The virtual world provides amazing tools for reaching new clients. Let us see the options we have:
- E-commerce websites
- Facebook Pages
- YouTube videos
- Facebook Live
- Skype video calling
Interestingly, Amazon reported the highest traffic on its website, even in lockdown. It was already operating online, but it managed to keep up with the inventory and making timely deliveries even in lockdowns.
Many businesses are providing free services just to maintain an amicable relationship with their clients. Netflix is providing free content to thousands of viewers, online learning businesses are offering free resources, and even beauty salons are offering free beauty tips to keep their clients engaged while their businesses remain closed.
Similarly, small scale businesses are also working to maintain consumer relationships; some trainers are sharing free workouts, others are earning good with online training sessions. Doctors have also started teleclinic and online appointments. Restaurants are managing through online deliveries, curb-side deliveries, and takeaways.
The gist of the discussion is that businesses must come with innovative ways to deliver value to their existing consumers to survive during this pandemic.
2. Utilizing the Time to Complete Long Projects
Often businesses keep on pushing new projects, especially R&D projects because they are busy with day to day operations. During the routine tasks, it seems impossible to take out time from our core responsibilities. However, innovation is essential to growth. But, innovation is not a piece of cake; it requires a lot of time, research, and investment.
Big companies like Ford, GE, Boeing, and many others know the importance of investing time in new business projects. They regularly schedule plant-shutdowns to implement machine upgrades and implement system innovations. Since factories and offices are closed due to the shelter in place guidelines, it is now easier to execute innovative updates.
From maintenance and cleaning to researching and analysis, companies can work on several projects. A little leg work can save us a lot in the future.
Similarly, we can see if we have the best payment system. Are we paying too much for our website? What other options for cost savings do we have? Are we providing exceptional customer service, and how can we increase it?
84% of businesses believe that earning sufficient revenues is directly proportional to customer service. So, if we invest this time in researching customer service, we will get the fruits in the future.
In summation, businesses can focus on:
- Improving their service
- Enhancing customer service
- Launching new products
- Research and development
- Increasing operational efficiencies
3. Building Skills and Expertise
Lockdowns have given us the gift of time; although businesses are suffering, there is a small advantage of this downtime. Businesses can utilize this time to equip their employees with training and skills that are necessary to elevate their performance and productivity.
Since our jobs are more dependent on technology than ever before, we continuously need to learn new skills to perform jobs effectively. For instance, a software developer needs to learn new languages, techniques, and tactics to remain competitive in their field. A software developer that does not learn new trends in coding and development will become obsolete.
Therefore, organizations frequently ask their employees to learn new techniques and upgrade their skills. Since business operations are either limited or completely shut down, now is the time to ask your employees to work on improving their skills.
Some options are:
- Hire an expert and schedule online training
- Enroll your employees in an online course
- Enroll your employees in a short training course
- Prepare a demonstration using YouTube or other video channels
Moreover, supervisors can work directly with their employees and ask them to improve their skills, which can help them perform better when things go back to normal. There is no limit to gaining experience, encourage your employees to improve their skills, and gain new ones, as they fit as well.
We can use the following tools for building our skills:
- YouTube channels
- Online coaching
- Blogs and quizzes
- Virtual diplomas
In London, a professional cleaning service by the name of Carpet Cleaning Epsom held webinars to demonstrate new cleaning guidelines to its staff. The business held online training sessions to teach staff how they should perform cleaning services during the pandemic.
Similarly, other businesses are also asking employees to teach new skills; some are teaching their employees conflict resolution skills; some are investing their time in teaching contingency and risk management to the workforce, while others are focusing on core skills to improve work quality.
If you have a graphic designing business, you can do short diplomas to learn new tactics in designing. This will help you in reaching new clients, gaining more insights into the industry, and dealing with bigger projects.
Marketing related professionals can head towards Lynda.com, financial experts can gain more expertise from QuickBook resources, and writing connoisseurs can join the writing circles. If you analyze carefully, this break from work is an opportunity for you to gain expertise so that you can stay ahead of the competition.
The dreadful Coronavirus has upended our professional and personal lives. Local and international markets are facing these challenges equally. Instead of losing hope and lamenting the loss of business, we should fold our sleeves, take a sip of an energy drink and figure out more ways to thrive.
Remember, while you are doing nothing, your industry rivals are acquiring new skills to get ahead. Just cause your doors are closed, doesn’t mean that you are out of business. Arm your business with skills today to make it shine tomorrow.